At last, summer has arrived and it’s time to spend time outside. Everyone knows that we need to take steps to protect ourselves from prolonged sun exposure. We apply sunscreen, wear hats and sunglasses and drink plenty of liquids to keep hydrated. Devices have important limits when it comes to operating in hot temperatures. To help you care for your technology in hot weather, we’ve gathered 8 ways for you to keep your devices from over-heating this summer.
The optimum temperature range for laptops, smartphones and tablets is between 50° and 95° Fahrenheit (10-35° Celsius). Temperatures warmer than 95° could cause some damage to hardware elements. Heat is not friendly for your laptop batteries and even brief exposure can reduce your battery life. Therefore, we recommend operating your devices away from direct sunlight, perhaps in the shade of a tree (and maybe with a piña colada!)
Transporting your technology and exposing it to sudden contrasts in temperature is not a good idea. The reason is that it can create condensation. For example, if you decide to take your laptop outside during lunch from your A/C cooled office, shut your laptop down first. Let it adjust to the temperature outdoors before booting it up again.
Temperatures in a closed car can get incredibly high, far hotter than the optimum’s operating range. We advise against leaving your laptop in the car on hot days, even in the trunk. But if you must, make sure the computer is powered off completely and in the shade.
Apart from heat, sunlight can cause other damage. If you’re not using your phone or laptop, try to avoid placing it on a surface facing up. Direct sun exposure can damage the screen and other hardware components. We recommend keeping it in a front pocket or underneath other items you have to hand (such as clothing, papers or the like).
Indoors or out, humidity can be damaging to computer equipment. Anything above 80% should make you cautious. It’s not just abrupt changes in temperature that can cause condensation. High humidity and condensation build-up can cause electrical circuits to short. Moisture in or around your laptop or phone can damage the built-in sensors.
Hot ambient temperatures can contribute to a hardworking device overheating. Your laptop or PC almost certainly has a fan. In ideal temperatures, you probably won’t even notice it running. If it starts to get loud, check your device’s temperature. Most operating systems have information on CPU temperature, fan speed and the like tucked away somewhere, or there are small programs you can download and install. A malfunctioning fan in hot weather can be fatal, so ensure adequate air flow around your device. You could also buy a stand or heat-absorbing mat to place your laptop on.
In some summer rainfall regions, hot days also bring the risk of sudden showers. Electronic devices don’t go well with water, so a waterproof case or cover can prevent a soaking. Summer is also the season of watering gardens and kids playing with water. Make sure your devices aren’t in line for an accidental spraying.
When the risk of damage to your device is higher than usual, common sense advice on backing up your data becomes even more important. If you routinely use memory sticks for backup, then they need care in the heat too. It’s never a good idea to keep them in the back pocket of your pants, even on cold winter days!
If you don’t care for your technology when the heat hits then you could pay the price. Keep your laptop cool to protect not only your hardware and data, but also your peace of mind. To schedule a free consultation, call Quikteks Tech Support at (973) 882-4644.